2 April 2006

Your Success Stories

Jeanne’s story – ‘I lost over 100 pounds using a combination of good eating habits and low GI foods’
After the birth of my eighth child instead of losing weight I started to gain. We were gaining nicely her and I. The problem was she was supposed to and I was suppose to snap back – isn't that the way it works? A few years earlier, I had started to snore, had reflux and I had a constant ache in my right side, which was gall bladder. I knew in my heart it was diet related as most illnesses are, but I did nothing about it.

When my daughter was about a year old I had had it. Weighing in over 270 pounds I decided to change the way I ate. I found that certain foods made me feel better and lose weight. I made the change. I don't call it a diet because I feel diets fail and I am not failing. I eat low glycemic carbs. But I eat lots of carbs. There you are, with the right foods you can eat what you want and feel satisfied and lose the weight. It speaks for itself. I also eat protein to build muscle mass and low fat dairy. I am now in good shape I feel I have a ton of energy. I am rid of reflux, no more pain in right side and best of all no fatigue. ‘I have lost over 100 pounds using a combination of good eating habits and low GI foods. It is not a diet because it doesn't fail. My skin tone is great and my general health has improved. I forgot to mention I am a person that will not eat white sugar. Sucrose, frutose, any ose is not for me.

Anne’s story – battling hypoglycemia
My life has always been controlled by my hypo attacks. I never go anywhere without a ‘fix’ in my pocket, be that an apple, a packet of chocolate nuts and raisins or a carton of juice. My story starts when I was an early teenager in 1957. I would be miles from home, roaming the countryside when I would gradually develop an inability to function properly, which manifested itself in weakness, perspiration and irritability. I was fortunate if an attack took place during autumn as I could find blackberries, crab apples or sloes to eat until the feeling passed. Instead of walking home I would have to sit and wait for a bus. I began to notice a pattern to these attacks. They nearly always took place in late afternoon. I had a long way to travel to and from my school involving a long walk, a ferry trip and a train journey. At the end of the school day I couldn’t wait to get home to have something to eat. My school life was totally disrupted by these attacks and I could never stay on at school and enjoy extra curricular activities or extra study. Concentration levels were poor and my school work suffered.

I was better able to control my eating patterns once I started working. When I became a working mother, however, with two children, shopping after work, etc. I found that once again my cravings during the late afternoon were almost unbearable. I resorted to sherry as soon as I reached home and this sustained me whilst I cooked a meal and attended to the usual chores. I found that alcohol, together with assorted savoury nibbles was the answer to giving me that vital boost when I was flagging. As far as I was concerned, I was just an oddity – no one I knew could sympathise or understand my problem and probably thought I was just greedy. I never seem to reach the stage of feeling full and can just go on eating and eating. I don’t. I stop when I realise that I should have eaten a sufficient amount but I don’t feel full. I think part of the problem is that I still tend to eat a ‘traditional’ meal of carbohydrates, protein and vegetables. When I am hungry I cannot face a salad, however varied and interesting. I have found that eating a small snack every two hours or so does stop me from reaching the stage where I lose the ability to be sensible. I should add that I do not have a sweet tooth and have always eaten sensibly, except when I am experiencing a sugar ‘attack’ and then I will eat anything to hand. I have brought up the subject with various GPs over the years.

I have discovered over the years that the foods I like most are my worst enemies. These include potatoes, bread, bananas, rice and alcohol. In the last month I have stopped drinking alcohol and limited my intake of potatoes and bread. I try to eat oat bread wherever possible and am following the low glycemic principle as far as possible. I know when I have eaten the wrong thing and, instead of turning to alcohol I eat a yoghurt or some apricots until I feel comfortable again.

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Anonymous said...

I am astounded by the success stories I have read about losing weight on the Low GI eating programs. My confusion is that, since the low GI range is 55, how do you know what foods will keep you within that range. I need to lose 90 lbs and I am in a wheelchair. Since I cannot afford all the "expense" of these programs, I am trying to do this myself. I have a list of food and their GI specs. How do I know, for instance, how much Frosted Flakes equals 55? Since it is listed at 55, how do you eat anything else in a day?
Any help will be greatly appreciated!
Patti AKA peprpatti@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Where to start? It's a good idea to go and have a chat to a dietitian if you can. Books like Low GI Eating Made Easy (and it really does make it very easy to understand) and The Low GI Diet (a 12-week weight loss program) can help. But there's nothing like having someone tailor a program specifically to your needs and lifestyle if you need to lose a lot of weight.

Unknown said...

Anne's story has many parallels with my own. For years in early adulthood I thought I had some kind of mental illness: attacks of confusion, irritability, the shakes, and wondered if I’d ever be able to work. Eventually I figured out that if I ate it went away. It most often happened in supermarkets which I expect is a conditioned response to all that food. I don't get hungry or get satisfied from food. I've been to GPs to whom hypoglycaemia is marked by unconsciousness - they don't recognise anything less. This is exacerbated by a myriad of other (related?) symptoms: insomnia, irritable bowel, nocturnal aching joints. You end up doing the rounds of the specialists all of whom can find nothing wrong.

I started carrying food knowing I sometimes just need to eat NOW, but this was a source of amusement (esp to my mother) and inconvenience. It’s hard to stay with other people who want to cook and shop and go out to dinner, and I just want to feel normal. I also get sick of eating all the time when I’m not hungry and wish I could just bypass the stomach. I’ve also put on 7kgs, still have to eat all the time and get judged for it by other people.

I don’t need to eat till mid morning and get a predictable low late morning and have to eat again. I think my hypoglycaemia must be reactive which is why I don’t get it till I eat. I can’t tolerate alcohol at all and can feel the effects of even one sip of wine. I always cook a meal in under half an hour – handling food for a long time is a problem and having dinner with friends who take 2 hours is torture to me. I also eat something sweet after dinner as it seems to be the only way to stop. Otherwise I just crave food indefinitely.

Unlike Anne, when I’m hypo I feel I need to eat salad or something similar. I’m worried that anything with much carbs in it will send me onto a worse rollercoaster.

I am better than I was, and part of the trick is eating less at once and I do eat less carbs: less bread and hardly any potatoes. But my weight, the insomnia and the constant food treadmill are still problems and any suggestions would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Re: reactive hypoglycemia. We covered this in March GI News. Use the SEARCH feature to read all about it. Diagnosis is difficult and it would be worth discussing your diet with a registered dietitian.
As we said in the March story: 'The aim of treating reactive hypoglycemia is to prevent sudden large increases in your blood-glucose levels so you won’t produce excessive, unnecessary amounts of insulin and your blood-glucose levels will not plunge to abnormally low levels.
You can achieve smooth, steady blood-glucose levels by changing from high- to low-GI foods. This is particularly important when eating carbohydrate foods by themselves. Low GI foods like wholegrain bread, low-fat yogurt, and low GI fruits are best for snacks. If you can stop the big swings in blood-glucose levels, then you will not get the symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia and chances are you will feel a lot better.'
—Source: The New Glucose Revolution